Eighteen is enough. For today, at least.
The Big Ten Conference announced on Friday that the University of Oregon and the University of Washington will be joining the Big Ten beginning with the 2024-25 academic calendar.
The addition comes on the heels of the conference announcing the additions of USC and UCLA 13 months ago.
Oregon and Washington are leaving a Pac 12 Conference that is currently on life support following the aforementioned departures of UCLA and USC, as well as this summer’s announcement that Colorado would be leaving the conference and returning to the Big XII. Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah also appear headed to the Big XII, which would be at 16 programs for the 2024 academic calendar.
The Big Ten recently released the outline of a football schedule for the 2024 season, but that will now be revamped to include Oregon and Washington.
The Big Ten previously passed on adding Oregon and Washington last year because the two schools wouldn’t be able to bring in enough revenue to justify a full share of the media rights deals the conference had signed. The understanding now, however, is that neither Washington or Oregon will be coming into the Big Ten with a full share for this current media rights cycle, but will be full share members with the B1G’s next media rights deal in 2030.
Full shares aren’t always guaranteed. When the Big Ten added Nebraska, Rutgers, and Maryland, those schools had to wait more than a few years for a full share. That was not the case for USC and UCLA, however, who will receive full shares from day one.
Here is the official release from the Big Ten.
ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) voted today to admit the University of Oregon and the University of Washington to the Big Ten Conference effective August 2, 2024, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2024-25 academic year. With the schools’ admission, Oregon and Washington will also join the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA), a consortium of world-class research institutions dedicated to advancing their academic missions.
“I’m thrilled that the University of Oregon has the opportunity to join the nation’s preeminent academic-athletic conference,” said University of Oregon President John Karl Scholz. “Our student-athletes will participate at the highest level of collegiate athletic competition, and our alumni, friends, and fans will be able to carry the spirit of Oregon across the country.”
“The Big Ten is a thriving conference with strong athletic and academic traditions, and we are excited and confident about competing at the highest level on a national stage,” said University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce. “My top priority must be to do what is best for our student-athletes and our University, and this move will help ensure a strong future for our athletics program.”
“The Big Ten Presidents and Chancellors are pleased to welcome the University of Oregon and the University of Washington to the Big Ten Conference,” said COP/C Chair and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert Jones. “When considering the full spectrum of academic, athletic and research excellence, the alignment with our member institutions is extremely clear. We are excited to welcome them and look forward to collaborating and competing with them in the years ahead.”
“Accepting membership into the Big Ten Conference is a transformational opportunity for the University of Oregon to change the short and long-term trajectory of our university and athletics department,” said Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens. “The stability and exposure of joining the Big Ten is of great benefit to the University of Oregon, and we are grateful to the Big Ten presidents and chancellors for accepting our application to join the conference. We look forward to the opportunity for our student-athletes to compete in this conference, which includes many of the best programs in the nation in every sport.”
“We have tremendous respect and gratitude for the Pac-12, its treasured history and traditions. At the same time, the college athletics landscape has changed dramatically in recent years,” said Washington Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen. “The Big Ten’s history of athletic and academic success and long-term stability best positions our teams for future success, and we are energized at the opportunity to compete at the highest level against some of the best programs in the country.”
In order for an institution to be admitted to the Big Ten Conference, it must submit a written application, which must then be approved by at least 70 percent of the Big Ten COP/C. The University of Oregon and the University of Washington formally submitted applications to join the Big Ten Conference this afternoon. The Big Ten COP/C then met via conference call and approved both applications.
“We are excited to welcome the University of Oregon and the University of Washington to the Big Ten Conference,” said Big Ten Commissioner Tony Petitti. “We look forward to building long-lasting relationships with the universities, administrators and staff, student-athletes, coaches and fans,” Petitti said. “Both institutions feature a combination of academic and athletic excellence that will prove a great fit for our future.”
About the University of Oregon
The UO is a Carnegie R1 research university and a member of the Association of American Universities. The UO faculty includes a Nobel Prize winner, a MacArthur fellow, a pair of National Medal of Science winners and a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize. The UO has more than 500 student-athletes who compete in 20 sports. UO teams have taken home 38 national championships.
About University of Washington Athletics
The University of Washington has one of the nation’s elite intercollegiate athletics programs that consists of 22 sports. The Huskies have won national championships in football, women’s cross country, men’s rowing, women’s rowing, softball, women’s volleyball, and women’s golf. The department annually finishes among the top schools in the nation in the NACDA Director’s Cup and the Pac-12 Conference.
Washington Athletics inspires champions on the field and in the classroom. Like the region and world-class University they represent, the Huskies choose to lead by example. With over 650 student-athletes competing throughout UW’s 22 sports programs, the department of Intercollegiate Athletics is committed to a leading-edge student-athlete experience, and offering student-athletes the ability to compete for NCAA and Pac-12 championships while working toward a degree from one of the world’s leading public research universities.
Washington Athletics inspires champions on the field and in the classroom. In sport and in life, who we are is why we win. It’s the Washington Way.